CAS as a term refers to the conditional access system. CAS is a service that provides the various TV channels, through a set top box in a digital transmission mode. In CAS the transmission signals are encrypted and the viewers have to buy a set-top box that receives and decrypt the signal.
With CAS the set top box is required to watch only the pay channels however the free-to-air channels, like Doordarshan are available without any set top box. The set-top box is a device that helps a subscriber to view the various pay channels.
The set top box is designed to decode the signals available from the various cable operators to help a viewer view a pay channel. The set top box also helps to monitor the number and duration of channels that are viewed by a subscriber.
In the new system under which the CAS will be applied, the Indian broadcasting companies will themselves decide which channels will actually be free-to-air and which channels would be pay channels.
The viewers using CAS are able to select the various pay channels that they wish to watch and they have pay for only these pay channels. Each of the broadcasting channels will determine their rates for buying the broadcasting of the channel.
As of now there is no segregation for CAS. As of now the CAS service requires the subscribers to pay a blanket rate for the entire CAS service. Soon some two levels of segregation will be decided.
The first differential will be very broad it will cover the lower, middle and upper classes of society across the large number of cable households. The second differential is going to be a division among the various pay channels, like premium channels with focused news, sports, entertainment and music channels. There also are some niche channels like health, nature and fashion.